Peony bud before bloom

Informed Transitions

Transitions can be hard, especially when one has spent decades teetering on shifting sand. With my menopause comes an emptying nest and a great and painful purge of my reproductive potential, accumulated clutter, dreams, and fears. I am 55 this year, African American, a tenured college professor, a widow, and single mother of two sons. I have… Read more →

A pink pamphlet describing the readjustment that menopausal women must make, and "sound medical advice"

Learning What We Do Not Know: The History and Experience of Menopause

In January 2021, I willingly underwent a procedure to implant testosterone pellets into the flesh at my hip. I had arrived at my medical provider’s clinic because of the many and varied symptoms of perimenopause that were disrupting my life. I wasn’t sleeping; I had low energy and terrible brain fog; I couldn’t regulate my… Read more →

Manhood, Madness, and Moonshine

In November 2015, Princeton University economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case published a startling report. Among 45 to 54 year olds with no more than a high school education, they found death rates increased by 134 per 100,000 from 1999 to 2014. These mortality rates, Deaton and Case argued, were not being driven by the… Read more →

More Recent Articles

Diane Keaton sits on the floor in a skirt suit, holding a baby, her briefcase and newspaper on the floor next to her

Will We Ever “Have it All”? Examining the Career Woman of the 1980s and in the COVID Era

The US government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has illustrated just how divided the country has become on the topic of childcare and women’s role in the workforce. In October 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its September jobs report, which indicated that, of the 1.1 million workers who had dropped out of the… Read more →

Cover art for the book What Happened to Paula, featuring a rural autumn scene.

“Who Cares?”: A Conversation on Murder and Women with Katherine Dykstra

Katherine Dykstra’s What Happened to Paula: On the Death of an American Girl is much more than a book about murder. It starts with a close study of the death of eighteen-year-old Paula Jean Oberbroeckling, who disappeared from her Cedar Rapids home in the middle of the night in July 1970. Oberbroeckling’s remains were discovered… Read more →

When Abortion Was a Necessary Sin

Anyone tempted to make facile arguments about abortion politics, on either side of the aisle, needs to read John Christopoulos’s new book, Abortion in Early Modern Italy. The book is beautifully written and the stories in it are jaw-dropping, with nearly tabloid-worthy details about individuals’ sex lives and relationships, though handled with appropriate respect. As… Read more →